Tag Archives: manualidades

Maple Leaf quilt block flag

Maple Leaf quilt block flag

In honour of our National Flag Day here in Canada, and especially this year, which is the 50th anniversary of the flag, I made my own little quilty version.  And yes, I’m posting it a few days late!  It’s the thought that counts.  Besides, if you decide to make one, it will be great for Canada Day this summer.  Here are some stats that I found on the government website about our Canadian Heritage.  A brief history lesson (it’s good for me since I didn’t grow up in Canada):

According to many historians, the maple leaf began to serve as a Canadian symbol as early as 1700 when, before the coming of the first European settlers, Canada’s aboriginal peoples had discovered the food properties of maple sap, which they gathered every spring.   In August 1860, at a public meeting held in Toronto, the maple leaf was adopted as the national emblem of Canada for use in the decorations for the Prince of Wales’ visit.   In 1914, many Canadian soldiers wore the maple leaf on their military badges, and it was the dominant symbol used by many Canadian regiments serving in the Great World War I.  Red and white were approved as Canada’s official colours in the proclamation of the royal arms of Canada in 1921 by King George V.  In 1964, the Government made the creation of a distinctive Canadian flag a priority.  When Parliament could not reach agreement on the design, the task of finding a national flag was given to an all-party Parliamentary committee.  After considering thousands of proposals for flags submitted by Canadians, the committee chose three final designs.  It was the single leaf, red and white design that the Committee recommended to Parliament. The motion was passed to adopt this design as the National Flag of Canada with a vote of 163 to 78 on December 15, 1964.

On February 15, 1965 our national flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. Canada was just two years away from centennial celebrations when the maple leaf flag was made official by Royal Proclamation. In 1996, February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day and has been observed every year since.  February 15, 2015, will mark the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada.

We are a young country, but it still surprised me that our flag is so very young!  I’ll have to ask my Dad if he remembers when the flag was adopted! 😉

In order to celebrate, I searched around online to find a maple leaf quilt block that I could sew up with some cute red fabric my sister gave me.  I found that Anjeanette Klinder had posted a tutorial for a very lovely maple leaf block table runner.  Another cool thing was that her maple leaves were made from charm packs, love that idea, but I as yet have no charm packs!  Anyways, the all-red leaf was what I was going for, you know, for flag day.  So I followed her instructions…mostly.  I’m not so good at quilty math and stuff like that, so the middle point on my leaf didn’t turn out like hers, I kind of just eyeballed it instead of following her geometrical directions! 🙂  I have really been having fun piecing together quilt block designs.  Love the way squares sewn together become fairly easy points and triangles!  Here is a quick step-by-step of how the sewing up of the maple leaf happened (sew and flip):maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 001

Then after playing around with the outer edges of the block (should I keep it square?), my daughter liked the more traditional flag-shaped rectangle, so I went for this idea, appliqued a stem, and added jumbo rickrack to the sides (because jumbo rick rack is just so jumbo and awesome!):maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 004Quilting powers activate!!!  I’ve been practicing, and this was a great project to practice quilting on.  I don’t have a walking foot or darning foot, so no free-handed stuff!  It’s all start and stop and turn and start, so the straight sides of the leaf were good to practice echo quilting on.maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 005I did what Anjeanette suggested and added extra batting under the leaf.  Another close-up.  Hey, not perfect, but great practice, and I just LOVE THE RED AND WHITE!!!maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 006maple leaf quilt block flag by dennasideas.com - Page 002I added tabs so we could hang this little flag up on the wall, and there it hangs!  O Canada!  Happy Flag Day!

P.S.  I even used Canadian spelling for this patriotic post!  Did you notice?  (I usually spell American style)

Easy Pink Dough Valentines for Preschoolers


An easy way for toddlers and preschoolers to celebrate Valentine’s Day!  Pink dough to play with!  Mix up a quick batch of pink colored dough and break out the heart cookie cutters!  The recipe I used is at the end of the post.  Here’s my nostalgic look back at my babies busy at work on their “Valentines”Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 008We’re going to make something!Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 007Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 005Squish that pinkness!Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 004The idea was to get them to make a Valentine on the table, then I would photograph it as their “valentines” for Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa.Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 006And that’s what we did.Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 002Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 001It was a lot of very pink fun!  I had to play a bit, too….Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 003Here’s the recipe I use for play dough:

2 and 1/2 cups of white all purpose flour   (I’ve tried it with whole wheat flour, and let’s just say…No!)

1 cup of salt  (fine, not coarse)

2 small packages of Kool Aid  (the ones without real sugar)  this is optional. if you don’t have Kool Aid, then add food coloring

3 tsp. vegetable oil  (canola oil is good)

2 cups of boiling water

Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the boiling water.  Stir it all together very well and turn out onto a surface where you can knead it a bit.  It will be hot, so let it cool a bit before kneading.  Then knead away until it becomes smooth.  When it’s cool enough, the kids can start playing.  As soon as it’s cool enough, either play with it or seal it in plastic bags so it doesn’t start drying out.  This will last for quite awhile in a sealed bag.   Note:  the Kool Aid is just for easy color and aroma!  We used cherry for Valentine’s day.  If the kids love the smell so much that they taste it, it won’t hurt them at all, just a little salty.  If there’s worry about the flour, then I’d say don’t add the Kool Aid and then it won’t smell appetizing enough for little ones to put into their mouths!

Fun for the kids to make, and the photos are easy to send to everyone online, no mess, no snail mail! 😉  Just digital cuteness from the kids!  Happy ❤ weekend!

Easy DIY No-Sew Fabric Pumpkins for Fall Decor

Easy DIY No-Sew Fabric Pumpkins for Fall Decor

Easy as pumpkin pie….actually, much easier and faster than that!  Fasy, easy, temporary decor:  I’m all about these three this year.  These pudgy pumpkins are so easy to make, you can have a pumpkin patch in your living room in 10 minutes.  The “ingredients” for the pumpkins are materials that you probably have around your house….and if you don’t happen to have cinnamon sticks, maybe you could substitute something else….like small rolls of cardstock or cardboard.  And the best part is that you don’t have to sew anything!fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasMaterials:  (new or clean) dish towels, rubber bands or hair elastics, plastic shopping bags, some sort of string or yarn and/or raffia and whole cinnamon sticks.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasI was so happy to find a use for these tea-towels (that’s what I call dish towels, is that Canadian, eh?) that I bought for a fun Christmas project last year.  I had meant to use them for drying dishes after Christmas, but they ended up downstairs in the craft basement….and didn’t come to light until recently….hmmm, they’d make cute pumpkins!!!  Find the rest of the ingredients:fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasNow grab the narrower end of a dish towel and accordion pleat it, but not perfectly, remember this is supposed to be fast.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasPleat the other end, too, and fold in half.  You might have to hold one pleated end, while pleating the other end with one hand.  Don’t be perfectionist, it will all be fixable in the end.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasLay the pleated ends out in a heart shape.  The idea is that the ends will be rubber-banded together, with the ends inside the pumpkin.  Now add a rubber band or hair elastic.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasYou can vary how much of the end pleats are going to be inside the pumpkin, and so vary the size of the pumpkins.  Now pull the bottom of the “heart” down….fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasAnd tie with some string, yarn or raffia.  Just a couple of regular knots will do to hold it.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasStart fluffing out the sides of the dish towel a bit.  You can add the stem of the pumpkin now, or later, it doesn’t really matter too much.  Grab a couple of sticks for a larger pumpkin, or just one stick for a smaller pumpkin, and insert them into the top, in the middle of the rubber-band “knot”.  Now stuff the pumpkin with loosely balled-up plastic bags, opening up the pleats a bit, and arranging them to cover any plastic bag that peeks out through the side cracks.  And that’s it!!fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasLater, I decided to tie some raffia around the cinnamon stick stem, to give the look of leaves and vine tendrils.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasIt took about 10 to 15 minutes to make 7 pumpkins for my “patch”.  The yellow pumpkin is a table runner, folded in half.  The two smaller brown pumpkins were bits of fabric from Walmart, those ones that are smaller than a fat quarter, something like 18″ by 21″ or whatever.  They were from last year’s project, too.  I had been looking at fabric pumpkins, but didn’t want to sew, or permanently use up my small stash of fabric, so this worked out perfectly.  I can pull them apart and use my tea-towels for drying dishes (if I want, ha) or anything else.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasfast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideas

Easy DIY Photo Canvas Art


Photo canvases seem to be all the rage.  So far I haven’t taken the plunge and ordered one yet, they are cool but pricey.   I guess I’m more into the DIY thing right now anyways….

The other day when I was crazily decorating for my daughter’s Lalaloopsy Cute-As-A-Button birthday party, I found a dollar store canvas and easel that I had bought without a specific purpose in mind.  I kind of thought that I would glue buttons to it, in the shape of the birthday girl’s age…but at the last second, decided to make a photo canvas to display this cute photo that my photographer friend April snapped of her at a kitty birthday party.  Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.comI went to handy dandy Pinterest and looked up how to print an image onto tissue paper.  Hmmm, seems easy enough!  Let’s try it out, I said to myself. I went for a black and white photo since I have run out of colored ink!   I work with what I have!

Honestly, this craft took almost no time if you have the supplies on hand.  I usually have some Modge Podge somewhere on the premises, so I started the project before I exactly checked…turns out the Modge Podge I have is an antique colored Shimmer finish.  (Modge Podge is the brand name of a water-based sealer glue and finish, a paste-like medium from PLAID and is usually completely transparent, but you can find different finishes like glossy or matte.)   Oh well, I thought it might work, and in the end I was quite pleased with the look it gave the canvas….if you don’t mind a sepia tint and shiny finish.

So the supplies are: Modge Podge, paint brush, white acrylic craft paint, a printer, tissue paper, double-sided tape (or even clear tape should work), paper confetti (optional), a canvas and easel, and some photo editing software to touch up your photo and print it out.  Here’s the canvas I used, sorry I don’t have a photo of the Modge Podge and my camera battery is dead at the moment…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Page 012Here is the fairy easy process:  first, edit your photo.  (don’t spend too long on this if you don’t want to.  You can always print off a photo w/o editing it and then just snip off the corners etc. of the tissue paper copy).Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - After cutting out her arm, blending her hair and cutting off the corners of the photo, I blurred the edges and erased a bit more, then I added some digital embellishments, like swirls and some flowers with buttons in the center (from my digital stash), but of course this step isn’t necessary and real embellishments could easily be glued onto the canvas afterwards.Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Now print off a test photo, to see the effects and to see where to position the tissue paper.  Using a sheet of white tissue paper,  cut out a rectangle.  I thought it had to be almost the same size as the paper, but apparently it only needs to be bigger than your photo.  I used double-sided scrapbooking tape to tape the tissue to the regular printer paper, but I think even regular scotch tape should work.  Make sure there is no stickiness showing!  The tape showing must not be sticking!! I can only image what kind of a paper jam that would cause!!  It’s hard to see in the photos, but you can kind of see the edge of the tissue paper (in the photos above and below).  When you go to run your paper through the printer, be sure you know what side it will be printing on!!  To check that out, when you print off your test copy, add a small X with a pencil to the corner of the paper before it prints, then check to see what side was printed on.  Then you’ll know whether to load your tissue papered paper face up or face down (I hope that sounds clear?)Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Cut as close as you want around the tissue paper photo and test it out on the canvas….this is the tissue paper just setting on the canvas….(I should have photographed the tissue paper held up to the light, it’s so cool, but I was in a big hurry…..)Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - Now add a layer of glue, Modge Podge, to the canvas…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - See how yellow the glue looks in the jar?  It’s harder to see on the canvas, but paint on your glue then quickly get the tissue paper on before it dries.  I actually had to peel off the photo, add some more glue and try it again.  It worked without tearing!!  yay!Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - I wasn’t sure if I should paint right over the photo, as is usual with Modge Podge, as it is a sealant, too.  But I didn’t want her face to get too yellowed looking, and since my Modge Podge is shimmery and a bit shiny, I knew that if you look at it from the side it would just glare…hmmm, what to do?  But first I added some white paint to the edges, to kind of soften them up and hide the edge of the tissue paper a bit (not that is showed very much) and I wanted to downplay the yellowish sepia color, too and make it look a bit like a painting….Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com -So this is what I ended up doing, following the direction of her bangs with brushstrokes of shiny glue…Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com - I only painted over the edges of the photo with the Modge Podge, and left the face free of it…so this is how it looks with the light shining at an angle.Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com -I seem to always have to do that extra little bit, add that extra detail, it’s the hardest thing in the world to stop myself  (I know, Art is knowing when to stop, and that’s why I don’t make money by my “art”!!)  so of course I threw some paper confetti that I had laying around from some other party decoration onto the canvas while the glue was still wet.  I like it anyhoo.  And my little buddy was quite pleased, too!!  🙂Easy DIY Photo Canvas by dennasideas.com I hope this little tutorial has been helpful to someone! 🙂  Now I just need to make 3 more……Lalaloopsy party by dennasideas.com - Page 014

Guatemalan Independence Day Flag art and Papel Picado Cake Bunting


The fifteenth of September is always a busy time around our house!  Not only are we celebrating Guatemalan Independence Day, but also our youngest’s birthday.  I’m usually busy doing a bunch of party related stuff.  This year I only had time/energy for a few simple Independence Day crafts.

Last year we did fun paint chip wall art, and some printables, but this year I only did a super quick post-it note flag and a few desserts and just pulled out the banner from last year.  You do what you can, I guess!!  I found these really cute post-it sticky notes at the dollar store (or Walmart) and the package came with both blue and white….so…..denna's ideas: post-it note art for el 15 de septiembre denna's ideas: sticky note Guatemalan flag artThat was easy!!!  Stick the notes onto a blackboard, and there you go.  I was going to somehow create the coat of arms for the middle of the flag….but minimalist modern is ok I suppose….

Another super easy but very cute idea was to make papel picado bunting for the cupcakes.  I so love papel picado art!!!  Here’s a little definition from wikipedia:

Papel picado (“perforated paper”) is a decorative craft made out of paper cut into elaborate designs. Although it is a Mexican folk art, papel picado is used as a holiday decoration in many countries. The designs are commonly cut from tissue paper using a guide and small chisels, creating as many as forty banners at a time. Papel picado can also be made by folding tissue paper and using small, sharp scissors. Common themes includes birds, floral designs, and skeletons. They are commonly displayed for both secular and religious occasions, such as Easter, Christmas, the Day of the Dead, as well as during weddings, quinceañeras, baptisms, and christenings.

I made myself a little banner for the 5 de Mayo and I confess that it’s still hanging in the kitchen because I like it so much!  Very cheerful.  Well, I’m also into stuff with paper doilies right now, too.  So I figured I’d use one to make the other….as a cake/cupcake decoration!denna's ideas: easy DIY papel picado cake bunting denna's ideas: easy DIY papel picado cake bunting Grab a small paper doily and punch out some scalloped circles, or even plain circles will do.  Easier yet, just cut out some circles or rectangles with scissors.  I used the scalloped punch because that’s what was in easy reach.  I punched out shapes from the edge of the doily, then folded over a little flap at the top.  Punching out shapes in slightly different areas of the doily gives a different look to the little pennants.  I trimmed some with the scissors so that I could fit more into the bunting.  Using 2 long bamboo skewers, I wrapped some baker’s twine around one end, tied it and hot-glued a button on to hold it.  Then I eye-balled how long the string needed to be and tied it to the other skewer.  I stuck the skewers with twine on into the cake/cupcakes and then added the doily pennants, already folded; arranged them a bit and glued the flaps down.  It took about 10 minutes from start to finish, and my daughter and I loved the look!!denna's ideas: easy DIY papel picado cake buntingdenna's ideas: easy DIY papel picado cake bunting

Here’s another view, I love to see papel picado banners silhouetted against the light…denna's ideas: easy DIY papel picado cake bunting

Here are some desserts we had to celebrate the 15 de Septiembre, Guatemalan Independence Day:

15 de septiembre denna's ideasdenna's ideas: mini cupcakes made into ice cream cones for the 15 de SeptiembreMini cupcakes iced to look like ice cream cones, with a blue skittle on top for Guatemalan flag colors!  They turned out cute, but what a pain in the neck to ice crumbly from-a-cake-mix mini cupcakes!!  (only made 4).  The sandwiches were a lot easier….denna's ideas: fancy sandwiches for the 15 de septiembre

I saw the idea on this German blog and it looked so fun and easy, too.  Cut out circles from 2 slices of white bread, spread one side with jam, add sprinkles if you want, then from the other side of the bread, cut out a little heart (with cookie cutter) and slap the two sides together!  I used a few fondant buttons for decoration, and the cut-out hearts….denna's ideas: fancy sandwiches with sprinkles denna's ideas: fancy sandwiches for the 15 de septiembreAfter dessert we went on a bike ride to a little lake….15 de septiembre - Page 002 15 de septiembre dennasideas.comI know, it’s a very Canadian scene to celebrate a Guatemalan holiday, but since I can’t be down there, I have to enjoy what we have here!  Our weather has been unseasonably warm, so we have to make the most of it.  It was a fun afternoon, and our little princess enjoyed it!!15 de septiembre dennasideas.com

10 Minute Wall Art from Shopping Bags!


Here’s a quick piece of art that you can make to hang on your wall…and it only takes 10 minutes!!  If you are weird and save shopping bags, that is.  I am obviously one of those people (to the despair of my family!)  I just love the plastic bags they used to give out at the Disney store!!  (I don’t know if they still do because someone moved our Disney store…the last time we went, it was gone without a trace!!)  So I had saved this cute bag with Mickey on one side and Minnie on the other.  And one day I saw frames on sale at Michaels.  Seemed like a match!  denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bagsSo if you also have saved Disney bags, or other cool shopping bags, grab your shopping bag and a frame right now!!  This will only take 10 minutes, even for perfectionists!  And you will be beautifying your home and getting rid of your pile of clutter!  (that’s the idea, anyways)denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

This was the slightly larger size square frame.  They are made for keeping old LP albums…..or shopping bags.

denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bagsTrim around the plastic bag.  This bag has two different sides, so I was using them both.denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

Flip the frame over and open it.  Pull out the glass.denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

Hold the glass with the plastic bag over it up to the light, so you can center the design the way you want it.  Then hold it steady and plop it down into the frame.denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

I put the original paper back on top of the plastic bag, with the white side facing the bag, just to give the bag a whiter background.  Fold the bag’s edges in and add the backplate of the frame and snap it all together.  (This type of frame has metal clips that slide into the edges).

denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bagsAnd there you go—cute Mickey and Minnie Mouse Art!!  Now hang it on your wall….denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

I had thought that the bathroom might be a nice place to hang this art….but Mickey ended up in the boys room and Minnie in the girls’ room….denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

Right beside the cute Hello Kitty that Tia Lesly made!!  🙂  We like bright colors at our house, and Mickey and Minnie fit right in!

Japanese Children’s Day


Along with being the Cinco de Mayo, today is also a fun festival in Japan, Children’s Day!  Originally it was called Boy’s Day, celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month, and Girl’s Day being the 3rd day of the 3rd month, but more recently the 5th of May has been remade as Children’s Day to celebrate all children.

I happened upon this fun and cute craft on Squirrelly Minds that is perfect for today!  How to make Japanese flying carp streamers, which is the traditional symbol for this day…a carp for each boy of the house!  (Now I assume that it would be a carp for each child!)  I have been saving up toilet paper rolls for the last few days so we can try our hand at these cute crafts.

Koinobori (Japanese Flying Carp) DIY from Squirrelly Minds

These photos are reposted with the  permission of Tan from Squirrelly Minds and here’s the link to her blog with the photo tutorial on how to make these colorful carp!  Aren’t they the cutest things?  Thank  you Tan!!

I had thought we would make these Japanese carp yesterday, but while we were looking at her site, we also found out that there is a Kodomo-no-hi celebration at the Japanese Gardens near where we live, so have decided to check that out!  There will be carp and kite making for the kids, stories and other fun stuff!  I’ll post a photo of our Japanese inspired creative efforts later!!  It is very early spring here, with yesterday being the first really really warm day of the season….there are still patches of snow around and yesterday I saw a pond still mostly covered in ice!!  It has been a long long winter this year….and finally it feels like spring!!  Nice weather to fly a kite or a carp!!

Yesterday we had a little Cinco de Mayo lunch at our house, though I made Guatemalan food! (of course!)  Last year I did a bit more Cinco de Mayo fun stuff, which you can see  here: cinco de mayo.

Have a happy Children’s Day and Cinco de Mayo 🙂